How to Build a Good Fire With Matches

How to Build a Good Fire With MatchesWhen camping or hiking, matches are one of the most convenient methods for producing a flame when building a campfire. You can use a fire to cook food and purify drinking water. In an emergency, fire can serve as a signal to rescuers. At the very least, a good fire provides comfort and warmth during time in the outdoors.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Matches
  • Mineral Soil
  • Tinder, kindling and wood
Step 1
Clear the fire sit of any flammable debris, such as dead leaves. While fire provides a number of comforts, it also can be a deadly hazard. Avoid spreading fire by taking precautions.
Step 2
Gather enough mineral soil from nearby to create a circular, flat-topped mound between 6 and 8 inches in height, according to "The Backpacker's Field Manual." Mineral soil usually is just beneath the top, organic layer of soil. Mineral soil contains no organic material and is not flammable.
Step 3
Collect tinder and kindling. Tinder is light, airy material such as dry grasses and pine needles, or even unused toilet paper and tampons. Kindling is small dry twigs no greater in diameter than a pencil.
Step 4
Gather larger pieces of wood to act as fuel for the fire. Find the driest pieces available.
Step 5
Arrange the kindling sticks in a tepee formation in the center of the mineral soil mound. Allow enough space in the top and side of the tepee to feed tinder into the flames.
Step 6
Place tinder inside the tepee. Light a match, and apply the flame to the edge of the tinder.
Step 7
Add larger pieces of kindling to the tepee arrangement. Be careful not to smother the flame. To add oxygen and stoke the flames, blow gently through the tepee opening. Once the flame is established, add wood against the tepee.

Tips & Warnings

Before departing the campsite, be sure to extinguish the fire completely. Use a stick to stir through the embers, and then douse the embers with water.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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